NATIONAL Capital Region Police Office director, Major General Debold M. Sinas yesterday said that an 11th member of the Metro Manila police who tested positive for substance abuse this week has been disarmed and relieved from his post to undergo summary dismissal proceedings.
In a report to Philippine National Police chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, the official identified the policeman as Patrolman Robert Buenavente of the NCRPO Regional Mobile Force Battalion. Sinas told the Journal Group that Pat. Buenavente has been stripped of his service firearm, badge and other government-issued properties and transferred to the NCRPO Regional Personnel Holding and Administrative Unit.
Sinas said Buenavente was among the 196 personnel of the NCRPO-RMFB who were subjected to a random drug testing last Monday. “Of the 196, he (Buenavente) was the only one who tested positive for shabu during an initial screening test and later the confirmatory test,” he said.
The official said that Buenavente was among those subjected to a surprise drug test amid suspicions he is using illegal drugs. Sinas said a record check showed that the accused was demoted to the rank of Patrolman from Corporal for a number of administrative offenses triggered by his bad working habits and his being hard-headed.
Since last January, Sinas said that a total of 17,984 NCRPO personnel have been subjected to a random drug test with 11 of them—the latest being Buenavente—testing positive for substance abuse.
Records showed that of the 17,984 policemen who took the drug test, a total of 1,322 were from the Northern Police District; 2,372 from the Eastern Police District; 2,084 from the Manila Police District; 8,101 from the Southern Police District; and 4,105 from the Quezon City Police District.
Gen. Gamboa earlier ordered Sinas to further intensify their crackdown against rogues in uniform in Metro Manila as he commended the latter in his no-nonsense effort to unmask and fire cops who are involved in illegal drug trafficking and abuse.
Last Tuesday, Maj. Gen. Sinas also ordered the disarming and administrative relief of another member of the Quezon City Police District identified as Patrolman Casey San Carlos Austria who tested positive for shabu use during a surprise drug test last June 6.
Gen. Gamboa lauded the NCRPO leadership’s move to regularly subject their men to random drug testing in order to determine who among them are using shabu, marijuana and other prohibited drugs.
Pat. Austria became the 10th member of the NCRPO to test positive for substance abuse since last January.
Sinas also ordered the transfer of Austria from the QCPD-DSOU to the NCRPO Regional Personnel Holding and Administrative Unit in Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City while undergoing summary hearing procedures, the Journal Group learned.
The official also called on the NCRPO Regional Internal Affairs Service to subject the two policemen to a pre-charge investigation and summary hearing procedures in preparation for their dismissal from the police force.
All 11 tested positive for methamphetamine abuse during a surprise drug test and later, in confirmatory test using the Crime Lab’s GCMC machine or Gas Chromatography Spectrometer Equipment, the Metro Manila police director said.
Last June 10, Sinas also ordered the disarming and administrative relief of a QCPD personnel who tested positive for using shabu during a random drug testing last May 28.
Police Staff Sergeant Arthur Santos II was transferred from the QCPD Station 4 to the NCRPO- RPHAU as a result.
The official has ordered the NCRPO Regional Intelligence Division to seek the assistance of the PNP Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group headed by Brig. Gen. Ronald O. Lee in investigating all NCRPO personnel who will be found to be using illegal drugs.
Sinas said that apart from being dismissed from police service, these ex-cops will also be facing administrative charges and a case for violating Section 11 of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.